Clear vs. Traditional Braces

Braces, both clear and traditional, help straighten teeth and correct bite problems. The right type of braces for you will depend on your personal goals, the degree of correction needed, your lifestyle and your age. Here at Steven’s Orthodontics in Tallahassee, our orthodontist, Dr. Andrew E. Clark DMD, MS, offers many teeth straightening options for children, teenagers, and adults who wish to straighten their teeth and improve their smiles.

Choosing Between Traditional and Clear Braces

If you are considering straightening your teeth and correcting bite problems, you may be torn between traditional braces and clear braces. Both options straighten the teeth and correct bite problems, but the notability of the braces, the degree of correction achieved and costs are typically different.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces involve the use of brackets that are adhered to the teeth and wires that are periodically adjusted in order to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaw. These types of braces are used to correct the jaw and teeth alignment of children, adults, and teenagers. Our dental practice utilizes the Damon System, which is available in metal or clear braces.


  • Clear traditional braces reduce the appearance of the brackets.
  • Great for individuals who have serious tooth or jaw alignment problems.
  • Traditional braces are the least costly option.
  • Reduced treatment time when compared to traditional braces that require rubber bands.
  • The Damon System does not use rubber bands or elastics.


  • Metal colored braces are extremely noticeable.
  • Must avoid certain foods in order to reduce the chances of damaging the brackets.
  • Must utilize a dedicated oral hygiene routine to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
  • The braces require an adjustment period.
  • Frequent checkups are needed, usually every four to six weeks.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a relatively new treatment option that utilizes clear trays that are specially designed to fit the individual’s teeth. The trays are slid onto the teeth and worn for a certain number of hours each day in order to straighten the teeth and correct bite problems. Our orthodontist offers Invisalign clear plastic aligners.


  • Can be used to treat mild to moderate tooth alignment problems.
  • Clear braces are not readily noticeable.
  • The aligners can be removed for eating and drinking.
  • There is no need to alter oral hygiene routine.
  • There is no need to avoid certain foods or drinks.
  • There are fewer checkups needed.


  • Cannot be used to correct severe tooth alignment or bite problems.
  • Cannot be used to correct tooth alignment in children.
  • More expensive than traditional braces.
  • Several aligners will be needed over the course of treatment.
  • Aligners can be broken and/or lost.
  • Treatment times may be lengthy.

Straightening Your Teeth at Steven’s Orthodontics in Tallahassee

Our orthodontist, Dr. Andrew E. Clark DMD, in Tallahassee, FL is proud to be able to offer multiple treatment options for straightening teeth and correcting bite problems, including crossbites, underbites, and overbites. For teenagers and adults with mild to moderate bite problems, we offer Invisalign, which involves the use of clear, custom trays that are worn over the teeth. These trays are virtually unnoticeable and offer the greatest flexibility because they can be removed for eating and drinking.

For adults and teenagers with severe teeth alignment problems and all children, we offer the Damon System, which utilizes either metal or clear braces and wires for tooth straitening. The Damon System is different than other forms of traditional braces because there is no need for elastics or rubber bands. Instead, the wires are held in place and allowed to slide freely, which reduces the pressure on the teeth and jaw. Damon System braces require fewer visits for tightening, and they have been known to lessen the need for future oral surgery.

If you are having trouble deciding between traditional or clear braces, our dentist would be happy to examine your mouth and the degree of correction needed in order to recommend the right option for you. To learn more about our options for straightening your teeth, including traditional and clear braces, call us at 850-385-2822.